Fish, Seafood & Diabetes

It might be difficult to make lifestyle adjustments to control type 2 diabetes effectively. It could require increasing your physical activity, taking particular medication, monitoring your blood glucose levels, or even changing your diet.

Fortunately, the final step isn't too tricky. When you have type 2 diabetes, including more seafood in your diet is a simple method to improve your health. According to the American Heart Association, everyone should consume at least two servings of seafood every week. However, people with diabetes may benefit more from eating fish more frequently than others. Why? There are several causes for this.

Fish and Seafood is rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Natural sources of Omega-3s, seafood, and fish are naturally low in fat and may help reduce the risk of a heart attack. Omega-3 fatty acids can help insulin work better and minimize many of the negative symptoms of diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk of coronary heart disease or stroke than the general population. 

Diabetes increases your chances of heart attack or stroke by two times. It means that people with diabetes must eat meals that are good for their arteries. Seafood and fish are naturally low in unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats, which clog arteries and prevent blood flow to the heart and brain.

Omega-3s are also proven to enhance HDL cholesterol levels, which aid in eliminating bad cholesterol.

Seafood and Fish is carbohydrate-free

Carbohydrates are a necessary part of our diet because they break down into glucose, which we need for energy. When a person develops diabetes, their body cannot utilize the glucose, or "sugar," that we obtain from our food. It usually entails a significant reduction in the number of carbohydrates consumed. 

Seafood and fish are low in carbohydrates, which leaves room on the plate for carbohydrates from other dietary categories. Any shellfish or fish recipe with stuffing, which would add carbohydrates to the dish, is an exemption.

Seafood and Fish is rich in protein

Fish and seafood are great sources of protein. Protein aids in the growth of new tissue in the body, which helps to build muscles and repair injury. Protein can also be broken down into glucose and used for energy by the body. 

Protein as part of a healthy diet can assist an individual control their blood glucose levels. Because the protein slows carbohydrate absorption, glucose spikes are reduced.

Fish and Seafood is low in saturated and trans fats

Fish is low in trans and saturated fats, which sets it apart from other animal products. And that's a significant bonus for individuals with diabetes. Having a healthy body weight, a strong heart, and low cholesterol levels lower the likelihood of many of the disease's consequences. 

This isn't to say that fish is fat-free. Their lipids, on the other hand, are unsaturated and thus healthy. Fatty acids are also present.

Fish, Seafood & Diabetes

Which Seafood Should Diabetics Consume?

When cooked, you can usually identify which varieties of fish are the leanest since they have white meat. Tilapia is an excellent example of this. Pinker fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are also fattier, which means they may have more of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. 

Both types of fish are beneficial to people with diabetes: lean fish help with weight loss, while fattier fish improve heart health and lower blood pressure. Here are some fish types you should eat for better diabetes control. 


Salmon, both canned and fresh, is high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and carbs. As a result, salmon naturally aids in weight loss and keeps you fuller for longer. There's also no danger of your glucose levels rising with each salmon meal.

Salmon is high in antioxidants and pairs well with steamed veggies or even a green salad. You can season and prepare it in various ways or simply serve it plain.

If you want to cook your salmon filets any other way, leave the skin on. Salmon has been found to lower blood sugar levels by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Fish, Seafood & Diabetes


Tilapia is a low-calorie, mild-flavored fish with high protein content. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a single poached or steamed tilapia filet contains 28.5 grams of protein and 137 calories.

Tilapia is high in selenium, a mineral that aids in glucose regulation. If you want to cook tilapia, you won't have to look hard for it. It's inexpensive, easy to find at most fish markets, and comes in frozen and fresh filets.

When cooking tilapia, avoid overcooking it. Because of their thinness, cook quickly, so don't leave them on for too long or they'll fall apart.


Cod is a white fish high in protein and low in calories, with a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. A poached or cooked filet has 32.6 grams of protein and 148 calories.

The omega-3 fats in cod help lower blood sugar levels, lowering your risk of heart disease. When maintaining your blood pressure in check, omega-3 fatty acids may be an even better option than limiting your salt intake.

Cod is high in selenium and phosphorus, two essential elements for people with diabetes. Selenium helps to improve your lipidemic and glycemic profiles, while phosphorous aids in insulin sensitivity management.

Baking sheet, grilling, broiling, grilling, and frying are all options for preparing cod. If it had been previously frozen, overcooking it may cause it to dry out.


Tuna is another wonderful fish meal that provides a continuous dose of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and several health advantages. It also contains a variety of minerals that are useful to diabetes people, including zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.

Many persons with diabetes also have high blood cholesterol levels. Due to its low saturated fat and carbohydrate content, tuna helps to alleviate this condition.

To cut down on fat and calories, choose tuna that has been kept in water rather than oil. To avoid mercury excess consumption, restrict tuna consumption to 2-3 servings or 12 ounces per week.

Fish, Seafood & Diabetes


Trout is a heart-healthy fish with a high omega-3 fatty acid content. It's high in vitamin D and protein, which are both beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes.

Citrus juice and sodium-free seasoning can be used to broil or bake your trout. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

Trout has its distinct flavor, so there's no need to add a lot of salt.


Sardines are high in calcium and vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. According to the USDA, canned sardines provide 1.36 micrograms of vitamin D and 108 milligrams of calcium.

Sardines are good seafood for diabetics because of their nutritional profile. It's best to go for a brand that's minimal in sodium, fat, and other unwanted additives.

Every 3-ounce serving of sardines contains 2 grams of omega-3s. This fish has the highest omega-3 content of any fish. Olive oil, tomato juice, or water can be used to stuff this heart-healthy fish.

The high protein content of fresh sardines is perhaps the most essential feature. Sardines' protein helps lower blood sugar, boost metabolism, and make you feel full.


Another diabetes-friendly fish option is shrimp. A single 4-ounce serving of shrimp offers roughly 23 grams of protein and 120 calories, according to the USDA. Shrimp has a greater saturated fat content than the rest of the seafood on this list (approximately 170 mg). If you're attempting to lose weight, you might want to skip it.

Shrimp is an excellent diet for avoiding and controlling blood glucose levels. It is low in unsaturated fats and high in protein, both of which aid to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Consuming astaxanthin has numerous health advantages. For one thing, it strengthens your arteries, lessening your risk of developing numerous chronic ailments. It's also thought to raise HDL cholesterol levels (good fats), which is good for your heart's general health. amount of blood sugar

Shellfish has only 1 gram of dietary cholesterol and around 97 calories, according to the USDA. Avoid adding melted butter during preparation to avoid adding extra calories and fat. Calorie and fat content may rise, rendering them inefficient for diabetic management.

How many times a week should you eat fish?

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises two servings of fish every week, with one serving equaling 3.5 ounces (oz) of cooked fish or approximately 34 cups of flaked fish. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.  Shark, swordfish, and tilapia are among the fish with the highest mercury contamination risk.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) supports these diabetes-related recommendations. The ADA also recommends grilling, broiling, or baking salmon, as coated and fried fish are high in carbs and calories.